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Garcetti Calls For 'Back To Basics' In Annual State Of The City Address

Erin Rode |
April 14, 2015 | 7:55 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Eric Garcetti addressed over 1,000 people. (Erin Rode/Neon Tommy)
Eric Garcetti addressed over 1,000 people. (Erin Rode/Neon Tommy)
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held the annual State of the City address on Tuesday. His speech focused on both the city's resiliency and his own "back to the basics" campaign. 

The address occurred in Cal State Northridge's Valley Performing Arts Center in front of over one thousand guests.

Garcetti began his speech by reminding the audience of the earthquake which shook Northridge 21 years ago. 

"After the earthquake, some wondered if life would ever be the same. But this is Los Angeles, and we have an unshakable optimism," said Garcetti.

SEE ALSO: Asian Angeleno Community Supports Minimum Wage Increase

Garcetti said an earthquake action plan would make buildings safer in case of future quakes like Northridge.

While the earthquake occurred 21 years ago, Garcetti became mayor only 21 months ago, which is when he first announced the plan to bring the city "back to basics."

The mayor reminded the audience of this plan and announced that future "basics" will include safer and cleaner streets.

This will occur through a new "Clean Streets Initiative," as well as through a new 40 member LAPD community policing division.

Garcetti called on Angelenos to face the state's water crisis with the same resiliency they had after the Northridge quake.

"One hundred years ago, water was a challenge for engineers. today, it's a challenge for each and every one of us," said Garcetti.

SEE ALSO: LAPD Body Cameras Would Be 'A Cop Out' Say Angelenos

He called on residents to take individual action by installing drought tolerant landscaping and using recycled water, and reminding them that the city pays residents to switch to drought tolerant lawns and provides free rainwater bins.

Garcetti also discussed the steps the city is taking in transportation, including expansions of the Expo and Gold lines, and rail connections to both LAX and the city.

"We have to make navigating the city easier for its residents," he announced.

Another transportation change is the allowance of ride sharing apps, such as Uber and Lyft, at LAX.

(Erin Rode/Neon Tommy)
(Erin Rode/Neon Tommy)
Garcetti announced plans to raise the city's minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage is a fiercely debated topic in Los Angeles and nationally, but Garcetti stressed the need for an immediate increase.

"I'm calling on City Council to pass a responsible, carefully crafted plan to raise the minimum wage now."

Garcetti publicly supported Obama's executive order on immigration, which would allow over 250,000 immigrant Angelenos to legally work in the city.

The mayor hopes to bring the city back to its economic basics as well. He announced a $1.6 billion film tax credit, which he claimed will help create over 50,000 new jobs.

He attributed a lower business tax to the recent growth of tech companies in Los Angeles, earning the city the title of "number one digital city in America."

Garcetti ended his address by reminding the audience of ways in which his back to basics plan has worked and will continue to work. For example, the number of homeless veterans has been cut in half since Garcetti became mayor, a number which he believes can reach zero by the year's end.

"We are building a Los Angeles that works...by going back to the basics, we're doing big things," Garcetti said.

Reach Staff Reporter Erin Rode here



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